Packing for the Continental Divide 


I think the anticipation you experience in advance of a trip, by planning and preparing for it, adds to the overall enjoyment of whatever it is you’re doing. For me, getting excited about a trip is almost as enjoyable as the actual trip.

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As I start to sort out what gear to take, what clothes to pack, etc., test gear, review my maps and try and plan a route, I find I’m getting way more excited about the trip than maybe I should be for only tagging along on a week of adventure.

  
It’s ridiculous really…I’m excited about what saddlebags to buy for my bike, for figuring out which gear I need, even what eyewear to take. Yeah, I’m easily entertained. But most of all, I’m really looking forward to spending some time with two beautiful spirits, two women, whom I respect and admire greatly. I haven’t seen them in a few years, and am really looking forward to catching up. And some good quality girl time sounds really good after a long summer at my job.

   

I set up my tent indoors on a rainy day (so I can pack it up again right away without needing drying time) to make sure it isn’t moth-eaten after a couple years in storage. Brian gives my bike a service and has sorted out my tools and tubes for me. I experiment with a couple of compact stoves. And I try to select the most variable and adaptive clothing layer choices that optimize my minuscule packing space. 

  
The other girls are riding similarly-sized bikes to mine and are each carrying an extra gallon of fuel. In order to maintain a similar fuel range, I need to find room for a gallon too.  Brian attaches a couple of tool tubes to my bike which I will instead use to carry liter fuel bottles. 

I decide to try some foam-edged glasses to try and cut down on the amount of dust that gets in my eyes, but they don’t fit very well inside my helmet and pull my hair.  I remove my clear visor and instead try some goggles. It will mean more exposure for my face, but I think it’s worth a try. 

The weather is already turning, leaves are starting to change, and wind and storms have been rolling in from the northwest. All signs point toward an early winter, and I’m conscious of it arriving first at higher altitudes. Hmmm…I wonder if I can wire an electric blanket to my bike? 

Categories: Uncategorized

5 comments

  1. Hey Michelle,
    I can’t help getting excited for you reading this. As you, it is the week I most look forward to as well. The anticipation is endless. Be safe my friend.

  2. Indeed!!! Ewan McGregor told me that the preparation before the ride is very special too, he loves it. I love the preparation too, been preparing my Lil’ Yamaha XT250 for a year now, I’ve invested a ton of money getting the bike ready for the big ride, it is all so much fun. This month will be a new suspension, measured the pre-load SAG this week, ordering all the parts now. Super cool stuff!!! Thanks for sharing your adventures, you are an inspiration.

  3. The planning and prep really are fun, and I enjoyed this post, so I am now looking forward to your ride post(s)!

    Although we have had such a hot summer here in the south, I am not sure…what is this ‘fall’ you speak of? 😉

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